HOLLISTER, Mo. (AP) - Flash flooding is prompting water rescues and damage to buildings in southwest Missouri.
Flash flooding was reported in southern Barry and Stone counties, including Roaring River State Park, after an estimated 6 inches of rain fell early Thursday.
Western Taney County Fire Chief Chris Berndt told KYTV rescue workers have evacuated three areas along Turkey Creek, where waters washed one or two mobile homes downstream. Berndt says several businesses and homes in Hollister have water damage.
The Southern Stone County Fire Protection District reports it has evacuated 22 people from a campground near Blue Eye. Campgrounds in Roaring River State Park in Barry County also are being evacuated. No injuries have been reported.
Interstate 44 near Jerome reopened Thursday. More than 40 roads, mostly in central Missouri, are closed.
A study by a North Carolina think tank concludes that a state-wide smoking ban would not harm Missouri bars and restaurants.
While several local governments bar indoor smoking in public, there's no state-wide ban. Opponents to a ban often argue that it would reduce revenue and employment at bars and restaurants.
Researchers with RTI used sales and tobacco tax data from 216 cities and counties in 8 states over 11 years. They projected that seven of the states, including Missouri, would have no economic impact, and West Virginia would actually see an employment boost.
The study was funded by the CDC.
Illinois already bars smoking in bars and restaurants.
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) - A wave of school transfers spurred by a recent Missouri Supreme Court ruling is opening old wounds and reviving difficult conversations in St. Louis about race, class and equal access to public education.
Nearly 2,600 students from the unaccredited Normandy and Riverview Gardens districts are leaving for better-performing schools in other districts, with the two troubled districts required to pay an estimated $30 million to accommodate the moves. School leaders say it's only a matter of time before they go bankrupt.
Parents, politicians and community leaders in some outlying districts say they worry the newcomers will bring increased delinquency, larger class sizes and lower test scores. Much of the outrage was on display last month at public school board meeting of the Francis Howell district, which begins classes on Thursday.
The Spirit of St. Louis Boulevard bridge over Interstate 64/US 40 is open again. The highway overpass reopened Wednesday evening.
MoDOT had closed the bridge in July so that crews could raise it to allow more clearance for high profile vehicles traveling on I-64.
The ramp from Spirit to eastbound I-64 has also reopened.
The Humane Society of Missouri's disaster response team in St. Louis is being called into action because of flooding in south central Missouri. A four-member team has taken a large animal rescue trailer to Waynesville to house up to 100 pets whose owners have nowhere to keep them until the flood waters recede.
The St. Louis shelter will also accept 15 dogs from the Waynesville shelter to make room for local pets displaced by flooding. The dogs will be made available for adoption in St. Louis.
Flooding closed Interstate 44 at mile marker 172 near the city of Jerome early Wednesday morning. As of Wednesday night it was still closed, but MoDOT officials say it could reopen Thursday morning.
In addition, Missouri Route 63 is now closed in two locations - south of Vienna in Maries County and at Westphalia in Osage County - further complicating detour routes.
Motorists are encouraged to use U.S. 60, I-70 or U.S. 36 as alternate routes. This is especially important for commercial motor vehicle traffic approaching Missouri from other states.
Motorists traveling on Route 63 to destinations south of Vienna should take U.S. 50 to Route 28 to U.S. 63. Those traveling to areas north of Vienna should use Routes U and E to get around the closure.
National Weather Service predictions indicate water will overtake the lanes of U.S. 50 at Mount Sterling by mid-morning on Thursday, making travel in the area even more difficult.
“We don’t know for certain when flooded roadways will reopen or what additional flooding might occur,” said Travis Koestner, assistant district engineer of MoDOT’s Central District. “We appreciate motorists' patience as we monitor these roadways and ask motorists not to drive around barricades or attempt to drive through water.”
When the water recedes, MoDOT will inspect pavement and bridges for safety before opening highways for public use.
An 82 year old Alton woman who's been missing since Monday morning has been found alive.
Madison County authorities say horseback riders found Shirley Plunk Wednesday evening. She and her minivan were stuck in the mud at the end of a dirt road in Mitchell, Illinois.
Plunk told police the van got stuck Monday afternoon. She got out, slipped in the mud and became stuck herself.
Plunk was taken to a local hospital for evaluation and reunited with her family.
A massive amount of untreated sewage found its way into the Mississippi River Wednesday.
The spill, which happened at an MSD Treatment Plant in North St. Louis, released 3.5 million gallons of wastewater. Officials with the Metropolitan Sewer District say the plant suffered a power outage just after noon on Wednesday. Within two hours, officials say they restored power and operations resumed.
MSD says any spill is unacceptable, but they are confident there is a minimal risk to the health of people or the environment. The spill occurred in a part of the river not commonly used for recreation and drinking water suppliers commonly test for bacteria. An incident report has been filed with the Department of Natural Resources.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - One of two suspects in a central Missouri homicide has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges in the case.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that 21-year-old Durantrae D. Logan of Columbia was sentenced Tuesday to two 20-year sentences, to be served concurrently.
Logan pleaded guilty in Boone County Circuit Court to second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the March 2012 shooting death of 39-year-old Lamont Sargent.
Prosecutors said the shooting occurred during a drug deal.
A co-defendant in the case, Larrell M. Banks of Fulton, is also charged with second-degree murder and attempted distribution of a controlled substance. He has a hearing scheduled for Sept. 30 and a jury trial Oct. 9 in Boone County Circuit Court.
There is an emergency meeting scheduled tonight for the Mehlville Board of Education.
The meeting will be held at 8 PM at the Mehlville administration building. The meeting will focus on “legal action, causes of action or litigation.”